UCWbLing

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WRITE CLUB will infuse your life with meaning April 25, 2012

I can see you now: despondent, lonely, doubtless trundling unlikely amounts of ice cream into your trembling food hole. You reach weakly for your notebook/laptop/what have you in a feeble attempt to convince yourself that you are still a writer. You hand falls limp and instead plunges into a bag of Doritos. The blue kind—blue, the color of true depression.

“There’s no writerly community,” you moan, “what’s this ‘writing’ to come to, anyway? If only there were some way that my talents could be energized, turning from a private affair to a captivating, electrifying spectacle that could grab a room and let them know the off-the-chain mad awesome shit that I could drop. Oh, were this world different! I guess I’ll just stay here and watch more Doctor Who. I wonder why all the aliens go straight to London.” Your soul aches for something more. Something like WRITE CLUB.

It’s been a long time since you felt fulfilled. It’s been a long time since the magic of language filled your heart and you lifted your twisted arms to the heavens, vibrating like some sort of cosmic tuning fork with those mystic frequencies of joy and beauty. I can make it happen again. I know where your passion for literature and creativity comes crashing into your physical world like a goddamn magic missile. But you don’t need to roll your d4 to know this magic missile’s a critical hit—I’m talking about

THE UNDENIABLE

THE EVER RELIABLE

THE DIABOLICAL

THE PHILOLOGICAL (I’LL GRANT THIS LAST RHYME WAS A STRETCH)

WRITE CLUB.

It feels so good to say. Say it with me. WRITE CLUB. WRITE CLUB. Can’t you feel it already? Can’t you see it? Can’t you hear the crowds? WRITE CLUB, my friends, WRITE CLUB. You want to come to WRITE CLUB. You feel compelled, somehow, by a force at once irrefutable yet comforting, to come to WRITE CLUB. You will come to WRITE CLUB. And you will love it.

WRITE CLUB is, as you may have guessed, so named for its rhyming with Fight Club. But while Fight Club’s fights were metaphors for the disillusionment of a generation of men who found the world beyond saving and unworthy of their respect, finding meaning in the only genuine human bonds they could find, namely, the physical bonds of a fight, WRITE CLUB is no metaphor. WRITE CLUB is real. WRITE CLUB is a battle of the mind that takes no prisoners, that is to say, the losers are literally killed on stage (disclaimer: in actuality, losers are respectfully told they did a good job).

Spelled in all capital letters so haters recognize the name, WRITE CLUB pairs the latter-day literary gladiators that are its participants into groups of two. They are given one of a set of opposing topics (Books vs. Movies, Fate vs. Free Will, etc.) and have two weeks to prepare up to five minutes of anything. Stand up, short fiction, personal narrative, or a mix thereof—anything goes in WRITE CLUB. The audience decides the victor, and the unfortunate loser is beheaded then and there, right onstage for everyone to see (disclaimer: this is not even remotely true and I don’t know why anyone would claim it is).

WRITE CLUB was born of Chicago’s underground lit scene, but it was brought to DePaul by host and the only competitor to perform every month, Eric Ruelle. Now, I don’t know if any of you know Eric, but I’m pretty sure that he’s a robot or something (I mean I haven’t completed all the tests yet, but it’s looking pretty conclusive). While others may falter, hesitate, or otherwise fail to be awesome, Eric does not. With Eric as your guide, you will be led through the gore-soaked caverns of WRITE CLUB with a hand steady and assuring. You will know no fear—the spectacle shall wash over you like anointed oils on the pate of a newborn child, being reborn into a state of ecstasy, purity, and transcendence. But unlike “baptism,” with all its silly symbolism and dubious effect, WRITE CLUB is empirically going to make this happen to you.

The writers once scattered across campuses, classes, and years are brought together to share their works with those most ready to listen. The competitors hear the roar of the appreciate crowd even as the crowd learns of the rich and creamy talent bubbling throughout the university’s writerly community. Yes, think all involved, yes, this is the capital-t Truth I’ve been waiting for. Too long I have toiled in solitude on theoretical writing—this, this is applied writing, deployed in public, for the public, and the glory is almost too much to bear.

Hopefully, you will take what you have learned here and make the right decision to come to WRITE CLUB 8 at 9:00 pm on May 31st. This will be the last WRITE CLUB of the 2011-2012 school year, and unfortunately Eric Ruelle will soon after be graduating and be shipped off to Detroit for employment. We’ll be losing a real and true treasure of the DePaul literary community, but WRITE CLUB will live on under the wing of Eric Decamp, yet another Eric who will surely prove to be a fine replacement Eric. The year will close out with a bang (which is misleading actually because it implies the other WRITE CLUBs were not bangs, when in fact they absolutely were—think of this as like some sort of double or perhaps triple bang), with the competition preceded by five revised WRITE CLUB pieces in a “Best of WRITE CLUB” spectacular extravaganza from some of WRITE CLUB’s most memorable participants (one of which is your own humble author [who is the record holder for most WRITE CLUB wins, by the way, with 4 wins in 4 appearances]).

AND AS IF THAT WEREN’T ENOUGH, after the competition you (yes, you) will have a chance to read seven minutes of whatever you want in WRITE CLUB After Hours. It’s all so magical! I know, I know!

Seriously, though, friends: WRITE CLUB is one of my favorite things. I often feel lonely and disconnected as a writer despite all the connections this university affords. I rarely get a chance to truly share my work with others, and WRITE CLUB allows me not only to do that but also to be exposed to writers with staggering talents who achieve astounding feats I could never match. It’s fun, it’s exciting, and honestly, it makes me hopeful for what we as students, writers, and people can do. Holy shit, guys, can I make this any more clear? Get off your asses, come to WRITE CLUB, and be transfigured. You can thank me later!

A SAMPLE:

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